Despite demonetisation and cash crunch in the country, foreign tourists footfall has improved by 4.5 per cent in the month of November.
According to the Ministry of Tourism sources, the surge in tourists’ arrival is a nothing less than a surprise but a decline in numbers is expected in the month of December as hoteliers across the country are now reporting cancellations of hotel bookings.
“We have witnessed a surge of 4.5 percent in foreign tourist arrival from November 9 to 30 in comparison to the same period previous year,” said a senior official in the Union Ministry of Tourism.
“As per the data, there is no decrease in inbound and outbound flight tickets in November,” he added.
The officers in the Ministry, however, admitted that the initial reports indicate that the tourists did less shopping due to cash crunch and non availability of cashless facilities.
“We are receiving reports regarding sufferings of international tourists due to cash crunch and lack of digital transaction facilities but exact data regarding overall loss in revenue will reflect in Foreign Exchange Earning in April 2017,” said the officer.
The ministry’s claim that there was almost no cancellation of hotel bookings in November was also supported by Pronab Sarkar, the president of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO).
“There no cancellation of hotel bookings in November but now foreign tourists have cancelled over 10 percent bookings. The maximum requests of cancellation or postponement are coming from luxury tourists for whom $ 80 per day are not sufficient,” said Sarkar.